HIPAA Regulatory Alert

Proposed rules published for stage 2 meaningful use

Comment period ends May 7, 2012

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issue Notices of Proposed Rulemaking that are open for comment until May 7, 2012.

The CMS proposed rule applies to stage two of the "Meaningful Use" rule and new requirements that participants in the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs will have to meet to demonstrate meaningful use in the program. The companion ONC rule discusses the certification capabilities and standards and tests that Certified EHR Technology (CEHRT) would have to do. Although the two rules overlap some, they are different.

A few of the items included in the proposed rule include:

• Nearly all of the Stage 1 meaningful use core and menu objectives would be retained for Stage 2 meaningful use.

• "Provide patients with an electronic copy of their health information" objective would be removed because it would be replaced by an electronic/online access" core objective.

• For eligible hospitals and CAHs, the set of CQMs beginning in 2014 would align with the Hospital Inpatient Quality Reporting (HIQR) and The Joint Commission's hospital quality measures.

The proposed rule for Stage 2 Meaningful Use also includes a minor delay of the implementation of the onset of Stage 2 criteria from the current 2013 implementation date to 2014.

To access the CMS proposed rule, "Medicare and Medicaid Programs: Electronic Health Record Incentive Program-Stage 2 Meaningful Use," go to federalregister.gov/a/2012-4443.

To access the ONC proposed rule, "Health Information Technology; Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria: Electronic Health Record Technology, 2014 Edition," go to federalregister.gov/a/2012-4430.